LEWISTON — It was standing-room-only when presidential candidate Ron Paul, a U.S. congressman from Texas, took the microphone at Geiger Elementary School on Saturday.
“The fundamental fabric of this country is being challenged,” Paul told attendees of the Androscoggin County Republican Caucus.
It was his second time in Lewiston in two weeks.
“We’re bankrupt,” he said. “We can’t afford what we’re doing any longer. This is the reason that this election is so significant, because we can’t just keep patching it over.”
The crowd of several hundred roared approval at Paul’s mention of many familiar topics of his libertarian-flavored campaign. Their loudest cheers came when Paul said, “We should never go to war without a declaration” from Congress.
He also condemned what he called “a deeply flawed monetary system” and called for “a full audit of the Federal Reserve” which would “get us back to a sound currency.”
Paul said in an interview that the answer to high fuel costs in the Northeast is to “get government out of the way.”
He said, “Any shortage we have right now, especially in energy, is a creature of government interfering with the marketplace to deliver.”
Paul had hoped to see his first win in Maine but lost to challenger Mitt Romney when statewide caucus results were announced. He did win Androscoggin County.
Other speakers at Geiger Elementary School included Maine Senate President and 2nd District Congressional candidate Kevin Raye, R-Perry; Maine Attorney General William Schneider; Maine Turnpike Authority Executive Director and former state Sen. Peter Mills; and John C. Turner of the Maine State Housing Authority.